We’re Geared Up for Spring Semester!

By Victor Sjodin, Director of Outreach

Collage-AAC_Leafleters-2016-1200x417

We’ve got big plans to save a lot of animals this semester! Vegan Outreach’s Outreach Coordinators have their vehicles packed—with thousands of leaflets and plenty of good vegan snacks—and are hitting the road to begin their spring semester leafleting tours.

Trailblazing Jamila Alfred, Maryland/DC Events and Outreach Coordinator, will resume her tour of historically black colleges and universities in the Southeast. Yuri Mitzkewich, Southeast Outreach Coordinator, will also be in the Southeast territory, but he’ll add many Texas schools to his spring tour—a first for him.

Steve Erlsten, Northern California Outreach Coordinator, will be promoting peace on the plate all over California, southern Oregon, and Reno, NV. And rookie-no-more Sean Hennessy, Greater Ohio Outreach Coordinator, has a big semester planned in Ohio and the surrounding areas.

Outreach Coordinator, Kimberly Moffatt, will leaflet Virginia, Upstate New York, and Pennsylvania. Lori Stultz, our dedicated Communications Manager, is also back in action. She’ll cover Colorado, Wyoming, and Arizona.

Outreach Coordinator, Rachel Shippee, will be making sure that everyone in Michigan hears the vegan message. And New England Outreach Coordinator, Lana Smithson will cover Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and parts of the Boston, MA area.

We’re happy to announce a few new additions who will help leaflet in the remaining areas in the U.S. Longtime volunteer, John Deetjen, will cover the Upper Midwest, Utah, and Idaho. Victor and Karla Flores will visit schools in their home state of New Mexico, as well as Oklahoma and the cities of El Paso and Lubbock, TX. Past volunteer, Alexis Clark, will be in New Jersey, and in New York City and Long Island, NY.

Emmanuel and Katia

Outside of the United States, Emmanuel Márquez, Mexico Outreach Coordinator, will lead another tour all around Mexico—focusing on cities that have not been leafleted much in the past.

Jevranne Martel, Canada Outreach Coordinator, is starting off in British Columbia and will continue to spread the good word across the continent all the way to Halifax, NS. Jev’s tour will be a special one for Vegan Outreach, as she’ll visit schools in far east Canada that have never been leafleted before.

Sam Tucker, Australia and New Zealand Outreach Coordinator, will again hit the Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney metropolises in Australia. He’ll also be in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand.

India Outreach Coordinator, Pooja Rathor, will be distributing booklets in the Indian states of Punjab, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Siddharth Sharma will cover Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand states in northern India.

Everyone here at Vegan Outreach is super excited about this spring’s outreach team! We want to give a huge thank you to everyone—donors, hosts, and volunteers—who supports these hard working and dedicated activists. You all play a vital role in our work.

Safe travels everybody!


Second January Giveaway — The Vegan Way

By Lori Stultz, Communications Manager

Vegan_Way_Book_Cover

Here at Vegan Outreach, we believe that providing helpful and informative pro-veg resources is as important as informing people about the animal cruelty that takes place in our food system. When first introduced to these issues, it’s not uncommon for people to feel overwhelmed, sad, and asking, “What can I do to help?” or “Where do I begin?”

That’s why we make sure our Outreach Coordinators and volunteers always have several Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating booklets on hand. That way, for anyone who receives a leaflet and is interested in making changes to their diets, our leafleters can easily provide recipe ideas, nutrition information, and store-bought vegan food recommendations by simply handing them the Guide.

We also like to support other vegans who feel that providing veg resources is a vital part of the advocacy equation. One of those individuals is vegan health educator, blogger, and author, Jackie Day.

Jackie is the author of the newly released vegan resource book, The Vegan Way: 21 Days to a Happier, Healthier Plant-Based Lifestyle That Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet, and You. This book is an awesome starting point for anyone who’s interested in moving toward a vegan lifestyle. It covers everything from the “why”—animals, the environment, and personal health—to a detailed breakdown of the “how”—food, cosmetics, clothing, travel, household items, entertainment and more.

The book is divided into several parts, 21 to be exact, and it’s laid out in a way that gradually helps veg-curious people move toward a more compassionate lifestyle.

There’s a lot to think about here, but don’t worry, this isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon, with comfy shoes, yummy food, and plenty of time to rest and reflect. Over the next 21 days, you’ll be getting new tips, tricks, and ideas to enable you to make super-easy daily changes that will blossom into wonderful lifelong habits.

Jackie’s sensibility, playfulness, and humor makes this comprehensive book a quick and non-intimidating read. Oh, and one of the many great things about this book is that Jackie sprinkles in a few of her wonderfully delicious recipes, which will undoubtedly motivate readers to get up and head toward the kitchen to cook!

And guess what? We’re giving you a little taste of Jackie’s culinary magic. Check out today’s recipe—Sweet Sunday French Crepes.

We’re also giving you the opportunity to get Jackie’s book for free! That’s right—another giveaway for January! This giveaway starts today, January 24, and ends on Wednesday, February 1 at 12:00 am North American MST. We’ll announce the lucky winner on Friday, February 3. Enter by clicking on the giveaway link below!

In the meantime, check out Jackie’s blog My Vegan Journal. And if you want to jump right in and buy Jackie’s book instead of waiting for the giveaway results, you can purchase it here.

Thank you, Jackie, for your ongoing advocacy and for the delicious breakfast recipe!

The Vegan Way Giveaway


Sweet Sunday French Crepes

By Jackie Day, Guest Contributor

The Vegan Way Sweet Sunday Crepes

Oooh, la laaah, these are so good! I created this recipe with the novice crepe maker in mind, so they’re a tiny bit thicker, and slightly smaller than traditional French crepes, making them easier to flip. If making crepes is old hat for you, feel free to add a bit more nut milk to make them thinner. And don’t fret if the first one doesn’t turn out perfect. It’s called the “chef eats first” rule: gobble it up, and move on to the second! Nom, nom, nom.

Be sure to read through the directions before beginning to make these, so you’re not caught off guard by the “wait” time.

Sweet Sunday French Crepes

Yields 4-6 small crepes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 ⅛ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon aquafaba
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Oil or vegan butter, for the pan
  • Warm jam or fresh berries, for the filling
  • Melted vegan chocolate chips and powdered sugar, for topping (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large nonreactive bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, almond milk, orange juice, sea salt, aquafaba, and vanilla. Try to get out as many lumps as possible. Now here’s the real hard part: let the batter sit for at least 15 minutes. The reason this is necessary is so that the liquid permeates into any remaining lumps of flour. No one wants lumpy crepes.
  2. Once the batter has “rested” for 15 minutes, give it another mix, and heat up a little bit of oil or vegan butter in a 12″ nonstick pan on medium heat.
  3. Gently add about ⅓ to ½ cup of the batter to the center of the pan, then lift, tilt, and rotate the pan immediately to create a thin, even circle of batter. It’s good to leave about an inch or so of space around the crepe so you’ll be able to get a spatula underneath to flip it.
  4. Once the crepe has a few bubbles, and is lightly golden on the edges, gently move around the crepe with a spatula. Once loose enough around the entire circle, gently flip it over to the opposite side. The second side will likely only need about a minute or less to cook.
  5. Gently lift the crepe out of the pan and place on a plate. (If your plates are cold, I recommend placing them in the oven on “warm” before you begin so your crepes stay warm as you make more. Just make sure they’re oven-safe plates and that the oven is set at the lowest setting).
  6. Continue making crepes in the same manner until you use up the batter.
  7. To serve, spread warm jam on the crepes and then roll up. Or fill each crepe with fresh berries, and fold. Drizzle the crepes with melted vegan chocolate chips (Trader Joe’s has vegan dark chocolate chips) and/or dust with the powdered sugar if desired. Bon vegan appétit!

This is an original recipe from The Vegan Way by Jackie Day that has been published with permission.


Clear Eyes, Full Hearts: Women in Animal Advocacy — Part 1

By Jen Bravo, Guest Contributor

This post is the first in a series on the history of women in the animal protection movement, gender and animal advocacy, and stories of the women striving today to make the world a better place for animals.

Animal advocacy has a long and complex history—a history in which women have played a central and integral role as writers, speakers, organizers, and activists. An intersectional history in which feminism and animal advocacy go hand in hand, along with other progressive social causes.

As the foot soldiers of modern animal advocacy, it’s empowering for women to understand our history and embrace the legacies of the women who came before us. In that spirit, this post shares the stories of just three women who embody courage and dedication, and forged a path for animals in the 1800s and very early 1900s where none existed.

Women and Animal Advocacy in the 1800s

Frances Power Cobbe and Anna Kingsford are two names every animal advocate should know.

Frances Power Cobbe
Frances Power Cobbe (Photo: Life of Frances Power Cobbe, 1894)

Frances Power Cobbe

Frances Power Cobbe was a women’s suffrage and anti-vivisection advocate who founded the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) in 1875 and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) in 1898—two animal protection groups that are still around today (BUAV is now Cruelty Free International). Both organizations were firmly rooted in the early social justice movements of the 1800s, which included women’s suffrage, property rights for women, and opposition to vivisection (that is, the use of living animals in experiments).

Frances began her career as a writer, publishing articles on women’s property rights, domestic abuse against women, and the economic dependency of women on men in Victorian England. In 1863, as a writer for the London Daily News, she witnessed animal experiments and became a staunch opponent of vivisection. Her strident anti-vivisection work led directly to the passage of the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1876, which was intended to regulate vivisection by requiring physiologists to obtain licenses and for the animals used to be anesthetized. Frances and the NAVS claimed the Act was weak, and in fact, the number of vivisections rose following its enactment.

Anna Kingsford
Anna Kingsford (Photo: Wikipedia)

Anna Kingsford

Anna Kingsford met Frances Cobbe in London in 1872 when Frances published an article on anti-vivisection in The Lady’s Own Paper—a weekly magazine that covered social reform issues—which Anna owned and edited. Anna quickly became an anti-vivisection advocate, and decided to study medicine so that she could advocate for animals from a place of expertise.

The study of medicine at this time relied heavily on experiments on animals, mostly dogs and mostly without anesthetic. Anna attended medical school in Paris, completing her degree in just six years, and doing so without experimenting on any animals. Her final thesis for medical school was a paper on the benefits of becoming a vegetarian, which was later published as a book titled The Perfect Way in Diet in 1881. She became an active speaker and advocate for a vegetarian diet and in opposition to all animal experimentation.

Anna exhibited extreme courage in attending medical school at this time, during which she had to witness many experiments conducted on living dogs without anesthetic. She said, “I have found my Hell here in the Faculté de Médecine of Paris.” And she bore the additional burden of being an unwelcome woman in a field dominated by men, experiencing harassment and neglect from her teachers.

Anna persevered, as she knew that her experiences would help her be a better advocate for animals. Unfortunately, Anna developed a serious illness and died at the age of 41, before she could fully realize her life’s work for animals.

The Very Early 1900s

The very early 1900s in Britain and the United States were characterized by a continuation of the anti-vivisection movement—building upon the work of Frances, Anna, and others, as well as the movements for women’s suffrage, peace, and other social reforms. One woman stands out in this period for her courage and tenacity. The British-Swedish powerhouse Lizzy Lind af Hageby.

International Anti Vivisection Congress
International Anti-Vivisection Congress, 1913, Lizzy Lind af Hageby (center) (Photo: Library of Congress)

Lizzy began her career as a writer and lecturer in opposition to child labor and prostitution, in support of women’s liberation, and later in her life in support of animal rights. She was an activist and organizer at a time when women were expected to stay at home. She trained in medicine at the London School of Medicine for Women so she could become a better anti-vivisection advocate.

In 1913, Lizzy represented herself in a libel trial—related to animal advocacy—at a time when women were not allowed to become attorneys. The Nation reported that her representation in the trial was a “brilliant piece of advocacy…though it was entirely conducted by a woman.” Following the trial, a British Colonel spoke about the importance of women in animal advocacy, stating, “The day that women get the vote will be the day on which the death-knell of vivisection will be sounded.” Unfortunately, he turned out to be wrong about that.

The connection between women’s rights and anti-vivisection was particularly strong during this period. The U.S. academic Coral Magnolia Lansbury argued in her book The Old Brown Dog: Women, Workers, and Vivisection in Edwardian England (1985), that the imagery of vivisection—of animals bound and abused—was particularly powerful for women—a symbolic reminder of the treatment of women as objects.

A Legacy of Action

Throughout the 20th century, women continued to be at the forefront in animal advocacy—founding animal rights organizations, exploring the relationships between humans and nonhuman animals, and challenging the status quo that treats living, sentient beings as objects.

In our next piece in this series, we’ll highlight some of the amazing work done by women for animals in the 20th century—a century full of progress—and how that work informs the efforts of the women striving today to change the world for animals.

Editor’s Note: We recognize the women featured in this post are all white. This is due to many factors, including but not limited to who authors history. In our next installment of Women in Animal Advocacy, we will feature some of the many women of color who have been critical to advancing animal rights throughout the years!



Your Mornings Will Never Be the Same!

By Lori Stultz, Communications Manager

Coffee Mate Natural Bliss Plant-Based Creamers

Coffee drinkers—you now have another reason to look forward to your morning cup of coffee! The well-known coffee creamer brand, Coffee-mate Natural Bliss, just announced four new plant-based coffee creamers!

These new creamers are cruelty-free and will add all kinds of deliciousness to your coffee. Even as a die-hard black coffee drinker, I’m percolating with excitement!

In this week’s press release, Coffee-mate Brand Director, Daniel Jhung, stated, “We know the increasing popularity of plant-based, non-dairy creamers is not just a trend, but a consumer preference that is here to stay.”

Heck yes, the preference for plant-based food and drink options is here to stay! So, let’s get out there and show our appreciation and support for Coffee-mate’s vegan friendly products!

The Vanilla Almond Milk, Caramel Almond Milk, and Sweet Crème Coconut Milk creamers are now available nationwide in stores in the refrigerated coffee creamer aisle, being sold in 16 oz bottles. The Hazelnut Almond Milk flavor will only be available in Target stores.

Check out Coffee-mate’s store locator to find which stores near you are carrying the product!

Happy coffee drinking everyone!


Unexpected Challenges During My First Historically Black Colleges and Universities Outreach Tour

By Jamila Alfred, VO Maryland/DC Events and Outreach Coordinator

Jamila Alfred and Kayla Malveaux
Jamila Alfred and Kayla Malveaux

As the first black outreach coordinator, hired to help with Vegan Outreach’s focus on diversity and inclusion, I was extremely excited, yet nervous, for my first college leafleting tour.

Much to my delight, I was assigned to leaflet at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across the Southeast. I knew I would be perfect for the job.

I graduated from an HBCU—Bowie State University—last spring. I understand the importance of attending educational institutions where you’re surrounded by people who want you to succeed, especially because of the color of your skin.

Although I was a commuter and didn’t participate in many social activities on campus, the sense of community in my learning environment definitely pushed me to excel. Now, I want to return the love I received from my people to others beyond my school.

When I graduated I promised myself I wouldn’t take a job until I found the career of my dreams—spreading the vegan message to my brothers and sisters.

I’m now living my dream.

HBCU-1

Students Morgan State

The first leafletings I did at HBCUs in Maryland and DC went smoothly since I was still in my bubble and understood local customs. As I moved south, the sizes of these institutions got smaller and smaller and were in more isolated areas.

Outside of these schools, in their respective towns, I couldn’t help but notice the curious stares and the Confederate flags. I didn’t want to think much about it because I was on a mission and didn’t want any concern to sink in on this grassroots expedition, but let’s just say these places were probably not the best place for a black woman with locs to be at night.

While having a lot of fun, the trip took an ugly turn when my car broke down in Smithfield, NC. This is when I truly realized I was no longer home.

The stares and tensions were menacing as I walked about in a shopping center, desperate to find vegan food. Luckily I was able to find some, but with rude customer service. After a very expensive and time-consuming repair to my vehicle, I rushed out of that town so fast. I was emotionally exhausted.

That experience lingered with me the rest of the week until my car broke down again in rural Albany, GA. Luckily, my car had enough life to get me to a nearby gas station, but the gawks from white townsfolk intimidated me.

Determined to have my car fixed, I walked up to the only friendly face in the area who just so happened to be a black man. He directed me to a nearby tire shop where the front desk workers were white and the car repair employees were black. That wouldn’t have been a weird coincidence if the man at the front desk didn’t go out of his way to not look me in the eye while speaking to me, or if one of the women didn’t look square at my name on my ID and call me “Jamaica.” I wasn’t amused.

After this, my trip got better, but I continued to feel like I was different from what is preferable. It wasn’t until my first day leafleting in Atlanta, GA when the stress from my car issues completely melted away. A big thank you to Muki Pederson and her husband for treating me like a princess! I was able to fully relax thanks to their warm hospitality.

Just being in the Atlanta area for a few days made me feel a sense of community with my brothers and sisters—from the schools I leafleted to the city streets. And did I mention the food was fantastic? Every restaurant I dined at was black-owned, scrumptious, and oh-so easy to find.

HBCU-3

Kayla Malveaux

Unfortunately, I had to end my tour almost two weeks early. I was truly looking forward to finishing this trip with a bang—which I totally did in Atlanta—but the obvious risks, along with racial tensions in the South with the upcoming election, became an inevitable issue.

Although there’s many things I’d do differently about this tour, I’m proud of my courage for speaking up for the animals despite safety risks, especially as someone who’s new to leafleting. I proved to myself that I’m capable of anything and won’t allow racial intimidation to deter me from including the black community in the vegan movement. No one can stop me!

After I returned home, I went straight to working on local community engagement projects. The goal is to create new support systems for people of color who want to go vegan. People of color are typically left out of the equation when it comes to helping people transition to a vegan lifestyle, which is shameful because veganism benefits everyone.

Along with that, my goal is to build a community for vegans who are struggling with the lifestyle. It’s quite common that many vegans experience recidivism in their journeys, and I’ll make it my business to help them stay put.

The trip was a learning experience for Vegan Outreach as well as myself. I had to drive through unfriendly rural areas where the typical white male leafleter would have been safe. As a queer, black woman traveling alone, the threat of a racially-based attack was all too real. And in some places, I could feel that I was not welcomed.

Becoming a more diverse organization means learning, listening, and making adjustments. Campaigns involving one type of employee might not be effective, or even safe. Therefore, Vegan Outreach has decided that in the future I’ll have an intern with me for all of my touring.

We’re excited for my 2017 outreach! Please contact me at Jamila@VeganOutreach.org if you’re interested in accompanying me on my tour!


Canada Holiday Outreach

By Jevranne Martel, VO Canada Outreach Coordinator

Michelle Thorn, Zoe Bishop, Jevranne Martel, Beccah Ellis, and Edelweiss D'Andrea
Michelle Thorn, Zoe Bishop, Jevranne Martel, Beccah Ellis, and Edelweiss D’Andrea

Over the winter break I went out with a few friends and leafleted on a few different occasions. Being that it was the holiday shopping season, we took advantage of the busy shopping crowds and leafleted in Ottawa, ON. We leafleted at Hudson’s Bay—a Canadian department store—and at the Mackenzie King and South Keys transit stations.

The experiences were all very positive and we got a lot of support. The crowds were great and positive conversations were generated in multiple instances. The best part was seeing how many people were curious about making more compassionate changes in 2017!

Jev Martel

Beccah Ellis


Snickerdoodles

By Lauren Sprang, VO Board of Directors Secretary

snickerdoodle

Last winter my husband, Steve, had a craving for snickerdoodles and wondered how easy it was to make them vegan.

After looking through cookbooks and websites he found a recipe online, and with a few tweaks he perfected his own version. Thankfully, this winter we had the excuse of a vegan potluck to make them again.

The dough in this recipe is pliable and easy to roll into balls for a dusting of cinnamon and sugar. Hint: It’s good for taste testing as well!

For the cookie sheet, he molded them into balls using a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon. And once in the oven they spread out quite nicely.

Snickerdoodle Dough

Snickerdoodle Sheet

Snickerdoodle Oven

Near the end of the cooking time, he checked the bottoms to make sure they were firm enough and put them in for an extra minute.

When complete, I couldn’t believe the taste and texture. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have!

Snickerdoodle Bottoms

Single Snickerdoodle

Snickerdoodles

Yields 24 cookies.

Ingredients

Dry

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (2 teaspoons if it’s not new)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (absolutely necessary)

Wet

  • 1 stick (4 oz) margarine, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a baking sheet with wax paper or cooking spray. For a convection oven, preheat to 340°F.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. For the wet ingredients, beat the margarine with a mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the soy milk and vanilla extract, and beat for another 30 seconds.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and carefully beat with the electric mixer for 30 seconds.
  5. On a large plate, combine the cinnamon and sugar.
  6. Form the dough into 1″ balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar.
  7. Place 1 ½” apart on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes for softer cookies and 14 minutes for firmer cookies. They should be dry on the top and lightly browned on the bottom. Hint: We baked for 14 minutes for a bit of a firm shell and a soft inner cookie (also, we live at 3,600 feet elevation).
  9. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

Holiday Outreach

By Jennifer Mennuti, VO Volunteer

Holiday Outreach
Jennifer Mennuti, Elyssa Diehl, and Ela Fridman”

Sometimes, it’s a little challenging to get into the holiday spirit in South Florida while it’s 80°F outside. People here do their best, though! They string lights around their palm trees and display inflatable snowmen in their yards.

Many cities in South Florida host holiday parades and other festive events, and Vegan Outreach volunteers had great success leafleting the festive crowds this year!

First, on November 29, a few volunteers and I attended an event in Fort Lauderdale called Christmas on Las Olas. At this event, snow is trucked in to create a small mountain for kids to play on, there are bands and choirs performing, and holiday movie screenings.

Christmas on Las Olas attracts 40,000 people—needles to say, it was a crowded event. Despite all the activity, we dispersed 250 pro-veg booklets!

Then, on December 7, we leafleted at a holiday parade in the city of Boca Raton. I met up with new and veteran leafleters, and we handed out 500 Compassionate Choices booklets!

This holiday parade was the ideal leafleting event. We arrived about an hour before the parade began and approached people from the street as they were sitting along the sidewalk waiting for the parade to begin. Once the parade started, the street was blocked, so we handed off booklets to the spectators from behind.

Both events were a lot of fun and offered great opportunities for a little activism!

And for those of you who leaflet college campuses regularly, this is a great way to supplement your activism in between semesters!

If leafleting at a holiday event interests you, I recommend arriving early, wearing festive attire, and smiling a lot! People will probably be more likely to take a leaflet if you say something related to the holiday. For example, at these events we said, “Happy Holidays!”

With many cities and towns worldwide hosting holiday-themed events—whether it’s the winter holidays or Independence Day festivities—it’s an effective way to spread compassion to a lot of people!

If you don’t have leaflets but are feeling inspired, don’t worry! Vegan Outreach has you covered! Place your order for booklets here. And for a few quick and easy leafleting tips, check this out—you’ll be leafleting like a pro in no time!